Slingjaw Wrasse

Slingjaw Wrasse

Epibulus insidiator

DID YOU KNOW?

This fish’s mouth can extend to half its body length.

Exhibit Name and Location:
Blacktip Reef

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Slingjaw Wrasse

The Slingjaw Wrasse is a very peculiar fish because it folds its jaw under its head when not in use and extends it from its body when it needs to catch food. The jaw functions like a straw in order to capture its prey using suction.

Watch the Slingjaw Wrasse extend its jaw:

Young fish are brown with small white stripes. As the fish get older, coloration varies from shades of brown to electric yellow. Fully grown males have dark bodies, an orange/yellow back, and a white head with a black line through the eye.

Slingjaw Wrasses reside in coral rich areas such as reefs and lagoons, and can be found as deep as 130 feet.

Diet

The Slingjaw Wrasse feeds on small crustaceans and fish found in the reef.

Size

This species normally grows up to 14 inches.

Range

The Slingjaw Wrasse is found in the Indian Ocean from the Red Sea to South Africa, and in the Pacific Ocean from Southern Japan to New Caledonia. They also reside in the Hawaiian and Tuamoto Islands.

Population Status

This species is not threatened.

Predators

Larger fish and sharks

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Holly Bourbon
Curator of Large Fish Exhibits/Diving Safety Officer

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As the curator of large fish exhibits, Holly's day-to-day responsibilities include managing our staff of Aquarists and making sure that all of the animals under our care are doing well! Learn More

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